Capitals Continue Hot Streak, Beat Devils 3-2
The Capitals have been playing really good hockey as of late, and continued that again Sunday against the Devils. Goals from Vrana, Backstrom, and Ovechkin led the way and provided good offensive support for the return of Ilya Samsonov in net.
Although Vitek Vanecek has been playing really well, the Capitals will gain a valuable tool with Samsonov returning. Samsonov had not started a game in the NHL since January 17th, but had started a few games for Hershey (AHL). He was solid in goal for the Caps today, saving 19 of 21 shots for a .904 save percentage.
Offensively, the Capitals played well. Jakub Vrana scored a goal, his second in two games, on his 25th birthday. Backstrom scored as well, his 10th goal on the year. This is the fastest Backstrom has reached 10 goals in a season in his career (21 games). He still sits one assist shy of 700 for his career, but nobody will complain that he is scoring instead of assisting. Alex Ovechkin tallied one for the Capitals in the second, his 713th of his career. He now sits five goals shy of Phil Esposito (717) for sixth all time.
Once again, the Capitals won when out-shooting and securing more face-off wins than their opponent. The Caps out-shot the Devils 23-21 and won 37 of 55 face-offs for a win percentage of 67.3%. 37 wins and 67.3% were both season highs for the Caps in these categories.
The Caps are 6-1-1 in their last 8 games and are currently sitting atop the East division with 28 points. They will be back in action on Wednesday (3/3) in Boston, against the second-place Bruins